December 2023 – Energy Scouts significantly cut lighting costs at Lidl Slovakia

Lidl Slovenská republika, v.o.s. is one of the largest supermarket chains on the Slovak market. Climate protection and decarbonisation are important drivers for the companies’ activities – from the production of the products to the operation of the stores.

Lighting of the stores adds to the attractiveness of products in their stores but can be energy intensive at the same time. In general, the lighting in Lidl stores accounts for approximately 13% of total electricity consumption. This is where Energy Scouts Jana Vozárová and Martin Brezina from Lidl started investigating.

The lighting in the stores is automatically controlled during the operation of the store. During the day, the default setting switches on all lighting and during the night only one third of the lighting is switched on.

In this project, the Energy Scouts optimized two conditions in the lighting measurement and regulation system. First, they reduced the time interval to switch on the complete lighting before opening the shop from 15 to five minutes. At the same time, the default time delay before switching off most of the lighting after the store closes has also been reduced from 30 to 10 minutes.

Usually, employees prepare the sales area for the next day right after closing. There used to be a “convenient” button on each stores lighting control panel to prolong the full lighting period for another 60 minutes. Analysis of secondary lighting metering showed, this option was used rather out of habit than out of need. So as their second measure, they removed this shortcut for 60 minutes full lighting, which reduces electricity consumption significantly.

Due to the dramatic increase in energy prices, the Energy Scouts became brave and started a test period, where the lighting intensity on the sales floor got reduced by one third. In addition, sales of refrigerated beverages are low in winter, so it makes perfect sense to switch of the cooling for the chilled drinks display cabinet to achieve further savings.

The implementation of the above measures in all 164 Slovakian Lidl shops saved a total of 5,811.56 MWh over a period of eleven months (equals 6,240 MWh per year.)

Lidl’s Energy Scouts have thus achieved not only significant energy cost reductions, but also mitigated related CO2 emissions. Using an emission factor of 187 kg CO2/MWh, a total emission saving of 1,166.88 t CO2 per year was achieved!

Further energy efficiency and climate projects are already underway, among them
gradually switching to natural refrigerants and integrating photovoltaic systems on stores.

Lighting

Cooling

  • Industry sector: retail trade
  • Energy source: electrical energy
  • Energy savings potential electricity: 6,240 MWh/year
  • CO2 savings potential: 1,167 t CO2
  • Potential cost reduction: 1.18 M€
  • Investment costs: 100,000€
  • Payback period: 1 month
Reducing the light intensity by 33% in 164 LIDL shops was a game changer. © Lidl Slovenska
The consumption was monitored, sharp decline after project implementation. © Lidl Slovenska
Energy Scouts Martin Brezina and Jana Vozárová started planning reasonable but got brave during implementation of the practical project. Their decision to switch off one third of the lights in 164 stores resulted in savings of 6,240 MWh per year and 1,167 tons of CO2 per year! ©AHK Slowakei/Barkova
Energy Scouts Martin Brezina and Jana Vozárová at the national award ceremony in the residence of the German Embassy in Bratislava. ©AHK Slovakia/Barkova